The Segovia Aqueduct, mark of the Roman Empire in Castile
The Segovia Aqueduct is huge, crossing the city from one side to the other. For almost 2,000 years it has defied the passing of time, bringing water and beauty to Segovia. It is situated just one hour from Madrid, and when you admire its array of perfect arches, you will understand why this legacy of ancient Rome is a must-see for hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.
Witness to the passage of age-old cultures, the Aqueduct towers majestically above the streets and monuments of Segovia, standing out amongst all of them for its sheer size and simplicity of style. This extraordinary work of engineering brings together beauty and utility, and is also known as the “Puente de Diablo” or Devil’s Bridge.
Legend has it that Lucifer himself built the bridge in one single night, in order to win a young woman’s soul. He failed, however, lacking the final stone when dawn came. Tradition also has it that the holes visible on the stones are the marks of the devil’s fingers.
This is considered one of the Roman Empire’s most impressive works of engineering. It was built at the end of the 1st century and was in use until the middle of the 19th. It is comprised of 166 stone arches on granite ashlars, set with neither cement nor mortar. They remain standing to this day thanks to an ingenious technique based on balancing forces.
The aqueduct is highest as it passes the popular Azoguejo square. From here its colossal pillars and imposing, austere granite ashlars confuse the perspective, making the rest of the city look little more than a miniature.
The aqueduct is, however, just one of the many reasons for visiting this historic Castile city. We should make special mention of the Cathedral, built at Segovia’s highest point, and the Alcázar, a 12th century fortification built on a rocky outcrop with impressive views over the city. In 1985 Segovia was designated World Heritage City for its unique beauty.
A fusion of cultures
You should also explore the narrow streets of the old town, with their labyrinthine, mediaeval layout. These narrow streets are flanked by high walls and lead to hidden, unusual little spots and squares. The city wall, aristocratic houses with their heraldic shields, sandstone towers, convents, Romanesque churches, mudejar buildings and impeccable gardens all come together in a unique fusion of Roman, Moorish, Jewish and Christian cultures across the centuries.
Segovia is situated at the foot of the Sierra Guadarrama Mountains, less than 100 km from Madrid, and apart from its monuments, it also stands out for its delicious, traditional, home-style gastronomy which is appropriately renowned far and wide.
Segovia’s farms produce the finest products and ingredients, which are then prepared by expert chefs according to age-old recipes. Giant broad beans from "La Granja de San Ildefonso", tender baby lamb or roast “cochinillo” (suckling pig), are the most sought-after dishes, usually enjoyed with wine from the nearby Ribera del Duero region.
Come and get to know this unique destination, not far from the Spanish capital – it is a gift for the spirit and a festival for the senses.